At least six former Waterloo Engineering students have made prestigious 30 Under 30 lists compiled by Forbes magazine for 2019.
Alex Rodrigues, 23, Brandon Moak, 23, Darren Fung, 28, Greta Cutulenco, 27, Praveen Arichandran, 28, and Ari Paunonen, 29, are among 600 of the “brashest entrepreneurs” in Canada and the United States selected to 30-member lists in 20 categories.
“From creating milk without cows to trucks without drivers, these innovators are shaking up some of the world’s stodgiest industries,” the magazine says in an introduction to the honourees.
Rodrigues and Moak, named in the manufacturing and industry category, left the mechatronics engineering program shy of graduation to go into business for themselves. They are co-founders of Embark, which has raised $47 million to build a robot semi-truck fleet to haul cargo.
Fung (BSE ’14, software engineering), cited in the consumer technology category, teamed up with his brother Derrick and Cameron Dearsley in 2016 to launch Drop, an app that replaces the traditional store loyalty card. Over two million people have registered to use the service.
Cutulenco (BSE ’14, software engineering), selected by Forbes in the manufacturing and industry category, put her master’s degree on hold in 2016 to co-found Acerta Analytics Solutions, an AI platform that uses machine learning to detect, predict and prevent flaws in manufacturing.
Arichandran (BASc ’13, computer engineering) was honoured in the marketing and advertising category as director of growth at Tesla, where he joined the executive team in 2016 at age 25. He is building digital tools to reward owners of its electric cars for sharing Tesla products with their friends.
Paunonen (BASc ’12, management engineering), cited in the music category, founded dance label Monstercat in 2012 with fellow University of Waterloo alumnus Mike Darlington. The company has grown to 45 employees and $10 million in annual revenues while expanding into publishing, merchandising and gaming management.
The six Waterloo Engineering representatives on the lists are among at least 11 former Waterloo students campus-wide selected by Forbes.